The Musical Arts Quintet (MAQ) is one of the country’s oldest and most distinguished chamber ensembles of its kind. Established in 1957 as faculty ensemble in residence at Ball State University, the quintet has gained national attention for its varied programming, including the traditional quintet repertoire with new works written by contemporary American composers. At Brandeis University, the ensemble gave the first performance of Irving Fine’s Romanza
(then unpublished) for Fine’s memorial concert and presented the premiere of Morris Knight’s Concerto for quintet and piano with Michael Bourgeot under the auspices of the Georgia State Arts Commission’s Project Radius. The group also gave the premiere performance of Karen Thomas’ Sopravento
for quintet and percussion at the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors’ 1994 conference.
In 2010 MAQ was awarded an American Masterpieces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant supported performances, educational activities, touring, and the recording of the CD American Breeze
which was released on the Albany Records label. The CD includes works by Bruce Adolphe, Amy Beach, Jenni Brandon, Jennifer Higdon, David Maslanka, and Steven Stucky as well as the world premiere recording of David Maslanka’s Quintet No. 4.
In addition to its regular series of concerts on the campus of Ball State University, MAQ has performed at conferences of the American Society of Composers, Music Educators National Conference, Music Teachers National Association, Indiana Music Educators Association, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors National Symposium, Society of Composers Inc., and International Double Reed Society, and regularly performs recitals and presents master classes at universities and colleges across the nation.
“Fascinating works in excellent recordings by the Musical Arts Woodwind Quintet…The members of this fine ensemble are adept at making their very different wind instruments blend beautifully–so well, indeed, that we are often unsure just which instruments we are hearing.” (American Record Guide)
“The Musical Arts Woodwind Quintet…gives spirited performances, characterized by tight ensemble and nuanced and sensitive phrasing. …Whatever the usual market for re-cordings of woodwind quintets may be, this disc ought to transcend it, since its appeal should extend to all lovers of contemporary music. Highly recommended.” (Fanfare)
“This program is an absolute gem, filled with incredibly interesting pieces by American composers covering many diverse styles. …Each of these works is, or should be, in the standard repertory for woodwind quintet.” (Audiophile Audition)